Last April, we reported that 2 people in Illinois had died after using synthetic marijuana laced with rat poison. Additionally, 54 other users were hospitalized with severe bleeding.

The problem has now spread to 10 states, and public officials are now issuing warnings to avoid all forms of the drug.

In a public health alert released Thursday, Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and two other high-ranking agency officials warned the public to avoid any version of synthetic marijuana.

“We’re joining together to send a strong warning to anyone who may use synthetic marijuana products that these products can be especially dangerous as a result of the seemingly deliberate use of brodifacoum in these illegal products,” the FDA officials’ statement said.

The FDA officials said there’s “significant public health concern” for people who smoke synthetic marijuana and the U.S. blood supply. At least three people in Illinois donated blood before they were hospitalized for using tainted synthetic marijuana, according to an earlier Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clinical alert.

Officials would do well to spread the message via video. A video released in March warns of the hazards associated with “synnies”, with users describing the horrific effects experienced after consuming the drugs.

The new anti-drug message should be upgraded to: “Just say Hell no!”

D.C. Department of Forensic Sciences Director Dr. Jenifer Smith explains why the latest version of synthetic marijuana is so hazardous.

“These synthetic cannabinoids change,” she said. “People create new versions of them for different reasons and that is why having the capability to always be able to see what is actually in the original material is important because then we can share that information with other scientists or other departments who may need that information to do their testing.”

There have been 100 overdose patients transported to the hospital in D.C. during the past four days with symptoms related to synthetic marijuana.

Medics transported about 10 people on Wednesday, including four people who were found unconscious near the CCNV homeless shelter in Northwest D.C., according to D.C. Fire and EMS.

The medical examiner’s office is investigating several deaths that are suspected of being overdoses caused from this synthetic drug, but toxicology tests will be conducted in order to confirm that.

As there is no standardized packaging or warning label for synthetic marijuana, officials urge everyone to avoid using it altogether. As Oregon is experiencing a glut of farm-grown weed, there appears to be plenty of the natural material available.


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